Greenbelt housing could still proceed

Tower Road Farm.
Tower Road Farm.

An unpopular greenbelt development that was rejected by councillors may still go ahead - if Scottish Ministers uphold an appeal.

East Dunbartonshire Planning Board’s decision to block an application by Hallam Land Management to build 140 homes at Tower Farm, on the outskirts of Torrance, has been ‘called in’ by Scottish Ministers.

Councillors voted against the plans after hearing the proposal was contrary to the Council’s Local Plan and Scottish Planning Policy.

Councillors also heard that the increase in traffic that the proposed development would create could compromise pedestrian safety, especially around the local primary school.

They heard too, how the school does not have capacity to cope with the proposed development, how the site suffers from draining and flooding issues, and how the existing public transport arrangements couldn’t cope.

Councillor Billy Hendry, chair of the planning board, said: “I’m extremely disappointed that having recommended refusal of this application and been supported by the Board’s unanimous decision to see that the application has been appealed as I believe we made the right choice.

“COSLA’s recently launched Manifesto for a Stronger Scottish Democracy makes clear that Planning is a local democratic process and the decision of the Planning Board should be respected. However, having called in the application, rather than this appeal being heard by Scottish Ministers in private I believe a planning inquiry should be held in Torrance so that local people have an opportunity to be involved.

“We had 178 objections from residents, concerned at the impact that the housing development would have on the local area, I share their concerns and encourage those who made representations to take the opportunity to make their views known to Ministers.”